about a week ago, i was able to squeeze in one more hug + kiss before they were off on their next adventure. and then there i was, standing in the driveway. alone on my birthday (oh, the irony!) as they headed off to first grade. and just as my mother predicted, i cried. i had held it together for so long - that feeling of wanting life to linger as is just a little bit longer - but i knew that would have been about me.
and it's not all about me. i get that now.
after waiting so very long for children, i now realize that these two amazing individuals came into our lives when and how they did for a reason. and all these years later, after holding them so close and being their primary guide, i know their wings are strong enough to support them on their solo journeys to school. i ached as i let them go, but i'm pretty sure my heart grew a few sizes that day.
it was my choice to stay home to raise our girls, opting in 2004 to resign my teaching position of over a decade. and i am a better person because of it. but listen, i will not sugarcoat things - it was HARD. staying home with your kids can be messy and stressful and challenging and really lonely at times. but after the haze lifted, i came to realize that those tiny imperfections made all the beauty in our days shine so much more brilliantly than i could have imagined. talk about an "a-ha" moment.
there is no cookie cutter right choice for everyone. i think it's more about determining what's right for one's family, being content with the decision, and embracing it fully. life is too short to wish you were somewhere other than where you are. for me, staying home was the right choice, and i have absolutely no regrets. each path i've navigated over these past 43 (ahem) years has somehow prepared me for what lies ahead. i look forward to witnessing the brilliance along our journeys.